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Dr. Singh
Dr. Singh, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 6496
Experience:  MBBS. General Practitioner, experienced in hospital care and primary care.
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I have jaw pain on the left side of my mouth which affects

Resolved Question:

I have jaw pain on the left side of my mouth which affects my ability to eat. Occasionally, I also have pain in my throat and ear (only on the left side). The jaw pain hurts most in the morning, but a heating pad tends to help a little bit, at least enough to allow me to eat. Yawning hurts in addition to the pain of eating. My teeth feel fine, although I've started to notice that my lower jaw is beginning to hurt along my gumline. I do not believe that I grind my teeth at all, and I've been off work recently, so I don't believe this is stress-related. I have rheumatoid arthritis and have seen my rheumatologist, who said the pain is not joint but probably muscle-related. She gave me an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxers, which do not help the pain.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Singh replied 5 years ago.
The symptoms you describe seem to be consistent with TMJ. You would benefit from a bite guard. If that does not help pain medications to relieve the pain, muscle relaxants, or steroids can be tried. Applying ice or heat to the affected side may also help with relieving pain. If these measures fail you may need to see a dentist to correct a possible dental abnormality affecting your bite, or an ENT specialist for injections to help with the pain.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I've been dealing with the pain for a while now and have done a lot of research. With everything I have read about TMJ, I do not believe this to be the case. For starters, the pain did not appear suddenly (instead it increased from barely noticeable to extremely annoying and painful over the course of 3 months), nothing clicks or pops when chewing or yawning, I do not have difficulty speaking, etc.
Expert:  Dr. Singh replied 5 years ago.
To be diagnosed with TMJ you do need all of the symptoms described, such as clicking, etc. The fact that you have jaw pain, pain around your ear and throat, difficulty eating, the fact that heat helps, etc fit the diagnosis of TMJ. Your diagnosis of Rheumatoid arthritis could indeed be the cause of this, therefore I do recommend that you get an xray of your jaws to further evaluate this.

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